Lavrov calls Russian-U.S. agreement on Syrian chemical weapons renaissance of diplomacy

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(Interfax – BRUSSELS, October 15, 2013) Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has called the Russian-U.S. understandings on Syria’s chemical weapons a renaissance of diplomacy aimed not at building coalitions but at reaching common goals.

Speaking at the Brussels-based Royal Institute for International Relations (Egmont Institute), Lavrov suggested that the world has switched to a polycentric from a bipolar system of international relations in this century.

“Mechanisms for making joint decisions by leading global centers were embedded in the UN Charter, but the historical process has followed a route postponing their practical implementation by several decades. It is time now to fully employ these opportunities,” he said.

“In other words, it is time for a renaissance of diplomacy,” he said.

Only national states can use the diplomatic tools they possess for establishing efficient global administration bodies, Lavrov said.

“The development of the Russian-U.S. proposals based on an agreement between the Russian and U.S. presidents, which has been laid in the foundation of the OPCW decision and the UN Security Council resolution setting the framework for destroying chemical weapons in Syria, can be fairly seen as an example of such fruitful diplomatic work,” he said.

“Let me stress that this result has been achieved due to reaching a qualitatively new level of diplomacy, when the goal is not to build coalitions against someone but to organize collective actions for achieving goals common for all and to look for answers to global challenges,” he said.

At the same time, Lavrov mentioned what he sees as attempts by certain international players to shatter the legal foundations of the existing international system and set a precedent of actions bypassing its key principles, including sovereign equality of countries, respect for their independence and territorial integrity, non-use of force or a threat of force, and peaceful resolution of disputes.

“Attacks on immunity of diplomatic agents and missions are inevitably troubling as well. All this leads to destroying the pillars of civilized intergovernmental communication,” he added.